Friday, May 26, 2006

Legislative Update

HB 421 has become HB 1381 by substitute. It is scheduled to go before Senate Judiciary A. Their next meeting is on Tuesday, but I don't know if it is on the agenda. I'm quite interested in seeing how quickly this passes committee. Judging by the members, any serious debate is likely to be spirited, to say the least.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Too Far

HB 421 passed the House, unanimously. In an article in Wednesday's paper, a similar bill was in a Senate committee. A quote in that article mentioned removing games from shelves. This is where this kind of legislation crosses the line. At times like these I wish that I could take a seat in front of these committees and attempt to logically show that if they are going to do this, they will have to do it for R-rated movies and books dealing with anything other than "The Pokey Little Puppy."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Games and Gaming

House Bill 421. Read it here.

HB 421 passed a House of Representatives committee in the Louisiana Legislature today. It deals with the sale of violent video games to minors, specifically banning such. The man behind it is Jack Thompson. Thompson has been a leader in the fight against violent games and feels that they represent a threat to society. He has been trying in several states across the nation to ban the sale of violent games altogether. We had an opportunity to interview him on the bill, but missed out on the committee meeting, because the governor was speaking in a Senate committee around the same time. I would have liked to hear his testimony so that I could have asked him better questions about why he felt this is necessary.

To be honest I don't think a six-year-old should be playing Grand Theft Auto, or some of the other games on the hitlist, but I believe that a parent's responsibility is to know what their kids are doing. That means they should know who they're hanging out with, what activities they are involved in, and the content of the media they are viewing. Parental involvement is what made me the person I am today, not the games I have been playing for the last 20+ years, but many parents aren't taking an active role in their children's lives, which I feel is the leading factor in the Columbines, etc., not video games.

This bill will next go to the House floor, and then to the Senate, if approved. Thompson feels that HB 421 is the bill that will fulfill all the constitutional requirements that other bills have failed to meet, and doesn't forsee any problems with getting it passed into law.